Fight Hunger Bowl preview: BYU vs. Washington
BYU (8-4) vs. Washington (8-4, 5-4 Pac-12)
December 27, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
BYU Players to Watch:
Taysom Hill, QB—Hill is just second in the nation behind Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch in rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,211, averaging 5.6 yards per attempt.
Kyle Van Noy, LB—One of the fiercest linebackers in the country, Van Noy is a pure playmaker and is a threat to blow up plays with every snap. Opponents have game planned against him all season long, and rightfully so.
Washington Players to Watch:
Keith Price, QB—This will be Price’s final game as a college football quarterback. He comes in with 8,798 career passing yards and 74 touchdowns as a three-year starter.
Bishop Sankey, RB—Keith Price may run the show, but Sankey is the catalyst for success on the offensive side of the ball. He has 1,775 rushing yards and has found the end zone 18 times.
BYU Key to Victory:
Stop the run. Washington owns one of the strongest running games in the FBS, averaging 243.1 yards per game (No. 14 in FBS) behind Sankey’s legs. Van Noy is a force up the middle, but hasn’t had much help from his teammates against opponents with big offensive lines and powerful backs. If the Cougars can win this battle, there’s a good chance they’ll win.
Washington Key to Victory:
Win the turnover battle. Washington hasn’t lost a game when forcing more turnovers than its opponent, and BYU quarterback Taysom Hill has proved to be turnover prone at times. Hill has thrown at least one interception in nine different games this season and the Huskies would use this to their advantage behind their stout running game.
Line: Washington (-3)
Prediction: The Cougars allowed 186 rushing yards to Utah State, 237 to Georgia Tech, 214 to Boise State, 229 to Wisconsin, and 235 to Notre Dame. Even though BYU posted a 3-2 record against these teams, Washington has held opponents to 20 points or less six different times and possesses one of the more athletic defensive units it has seen all year. I don’t think there will be much of a Sarkisian hangover in San Francisco.
Washington 24, BYU 20
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